Steaua seek second home victory over Chelsea
Monday, 23 September 2013
In their first home game in the competition for five years, FC Steaua Bucureşti face Chelsea FC, 2012 UEFA Champions League winners but losers on this ground last season.
Article top media content
FC Steaua Bucureşti's first home game in the UEFA Champions League for five years pits them against Chelsea FC, who were beaten at the Arena Națională last season.
• Chelsea went down on matchday one, unexpectedly losing 2-1 to FC Basel 1893 at Stamford Bridge. Steaua were also defeated in their first fixture, going down 3-0 at FC Schalke 04.
• Last season, Steaua's win came in the UEFA Europa League round of 16 when Raul Rusescu's first-half penalty put the 2012 UEFA Champions League winners on the back foot. Juan Mata levelled the overall scores at Stamford Bridge and, though Vlad Chiricheş restored Steaua's aggregate advantage, John Terry and Fernando Torres struck to take Chelsea through.
• The teams in Bucharest on 7 March 2013 were:
Steaua: Tătăruşanu, Szukała, Pintilii (Prepeliţă 58), Chiricheş, Chipciu, Tănase (Leandro Tatu 82), Latovlevici, Bourceanu, Popa, Râpă, Rusescu (Gardoş 90+2).
Chelsea: Čech, Ivanović, David Luiz, Terry, Bertrand, Mikel, Benayoun (Mata 64), Lampard, Oscar, Hazard (Marin 75), Torres.
• Chelsea's only previous encounters with Romanian opposition came in the 2008/09 UEFA Champions League group stage, where they drew 0-0 away then won 2-1 at home against CFR 1907 Cluj. Petr Čech, Terry, John Obi Mikel, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole played in those games while Branislav Ivanović was on the bench both times.
• Steaua's 16 matches against English clubs to date ended W5 D4 L7 (W5 D2 L1 at home).
• Steaua's most successful recent European campaign ended in England in dramatic circumstances. Leading 1-0 from the first leg of their 2005/06 UEFA Cup semi-final tie against Middlesbrough FC, and 3-0 up overall after 24 minutes of the return, they were then heading through on away goals until Massimo Maccarone struck after 89 minutes at the Riverside Stadium to secure a 4-2 home win – and a 4-3 aggregate success – for the English side, who had Mark Schwarzer in goal.
• Steaua are the only Romanian club to have triumphed in Europe, winning the European Champion Clubs' Cup in 1985/86 by defeating FC Barcelona in a penalty shoot-out.
• In their first participation in the group stage since 2008/09, the Bucharest club have won just four of their 37 group matches over six campaigns, picking up 11 draws. Their last victory came at FC Dynamo Kyiv on 13 September 2006, since when they have recorded 13 defeats and four draws. At home they have not won in three campaigns, a run of ten games, their last success coming against RTS Widzew Łódź 1-0 on 16 October 1996.
• Their away form served Laurenţiu Reghecampf's team well in the qualifying rounds, a 2-2 draw at Legia Warszawa taking them through the play-offs on away goals after a 1-1 home draw.
• In the third qualifying round teenager Gabriel Iancu scored twice to earn the Romanian champions a 2-0 win at FC Dinamo Tbilisi, a 1-1 draw at the Arena Națională ensuring their passage. Steaua did beat FK Vardar 3-0 at home in the second qualifying round – their 100th win in UEFA competition – going through 5-1 overall.
• After defeating Steaua, Chelsea went on to beat SL Benfica 2-1 in the UEFA Europa League final in Amsterdam thanks to Ivanović's header in the last minute of added time.
• With their 2011/12 UEFA Champions League triumph, Chelsea became the first side to win UEFA's two top club competitions in reverse order in successive seasons. They also became only the fourth side to collect all three of UEFA's major club competitions – they also lifted the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1970/71 and 1997/98.
• The Blues have an outstanding group stage record, finishing winners of their section in seven of their last ten campaigns and qualifying for the knockout rounds as runners-up in two of the other years. Last year, however, they became the first UEFA Champions League holders to have their title defence ended in the group stage.
• Defeats at FC Shakhtar Donetsk and Juventus left Chelsea in third place in Group E despite a 4-0 victory at FC Nordsjælland.
• José Mourinho, who has lifted the trophy with both FC Porto (2004) and FC Internazionale Milano (2010), is bidding to become the first manager to win the European Cup with three different teams.
• Laurențiu Reghecampf came up against two English sides as a Steaua player. In the 1997/98 UEFA Cup third round he played in both legs as Aston Villa FC lost 2-1 in the Romanian capital before overturning the deficit 2-0 at home.
• In Reghecampf's last season before moving to Germany, Steaua eliminated a West Ham United FC side containing Frank Lampard in the 1999/2000 UEFA Cup second round, winning 2-0 at home before a 0-0 away draw.
• This will be Mourinho's first fixture with a Romanian team though he worked with Romanian players during his time at FC Barcelona (Gheorghe Popescu), in his first spell at Stamford Bridge (Adrian Mutu), and at FC Internazionale Milano (Cristian Chivu).
• Cristian Tănase scored in a 3-2 win for Romania against an Australian team containing Schwarzer. The friendly, the first ever match between the teams, took place in Malaga on 6 February 2013 with Mihai Doru Pintilii and Alexandru Bourceanu also in the Romania side.